Hexenschorf – Certain Rapture (Review)

Hexenschorf - Certain RaptureHexenschorf is a one-man black metal band from the US, and this is his debut album.

The artist behind Hexenshorf plays black metal in the classic second wave style. Certain Rapture provides us with 28 minutes of raw hostility.

You can hear a definite punk influence in many of the short tracks on this release. Passes over Me is a prominent example – a lazy reference point would be some of Darkthrone’s work in this area to set the scene. The punk influences are primarily heard in the fast and energetic parts, but not always, as Your Gimmick ably demonstrates.

Certain Rapture varies the pace across its running time though, and the punk aspect of Hexenschorf’s sound isn’t ubiquitous. When the music slows right down the guitars ply their blackened groove with cold malice. They are frequently immersive, dragging the listener into their frozen embrace. Opener In Sorrow is one of the longer tracks and has some great examples of this approach, but it’s not limited to the longer cuts, (check out No Desire, for example). The closing song Hidden Homes is the longest on the album and is also notable for its slower sections, (this song also adds a keyboard outro, showcasing another side of Hexenschorf’s capabilities).

Some tracks boast some serrated riffs, such as Circling the Drain and the intense Painted Shut. The two-minute Standing Tall is a good example of faster and slower speeds existing together in a condensed package. With an uneasy tension and barely restrained energy, and some truly malevolent guitars, it’s one of my favourites here. I also highly rate Crests, with its combination of punk beats and scathing blasting. Nasty stuff.

I really like the singer’s voice. His screams are absolutely vicious. They lash out from the music like barbed whips, slicing the air looking to taste flesh. As if this wasn’t enough, he also does vary his delivery here and there, adding a different emphasis when needed.

Certain Rapture is an enjoyable example of raw black metal done well. Played with venomous passion, this brief slice of blackened darkness is recommended for connoisseurs of the black metal underground.


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